Wednesday, September 10, 2014

THE WILD PRINCESS by Mary Hart Perry

Publisher:  William Morrow
Published:   July 31, 2012
ISBN:  978-0062123466
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina



While she ruled with an iron fist for sixty three years and is known seemingly mainly for spending most of it grieving her beloved consort, Albert, Queen Victoria gave birth to, and raised several children.  Known as the Wild Princess, on this day, the day of her wedding Louise, tries to be the daughter her mother has always wanted.  Standing beside her so very handsome groom, Lorne, the future Duke of Argyle, she is ready to take her place as a loving and dutiful wife.  On their wedding night, however, she learns that Lorne has a secret—one that could cause scandal to the royal family and death to the handsome young man.  They make a bargain, however, that could ultimately give them both the happiness they want.  But all is not well. 

A disgruntled faction of Irishmen, wanting to rule their own country, the Fenians, will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.  From a kidnapping attempt on the queen to wholesale murder they have but one goal in mind.  So intent on their purpose they hire a man with a particular talent, one that will do more than knock a few stones of a building or too.

But the queen is not without her supporters and Louise soon finds she is not so alone in her marriage when dashing Stephen Byrne arrives in England.  A hero of the American war between the states he presents a dashing figure in his long leather coat and dark Stetson.  Determined to hate him on sight, Louise soon finds herself drawn more and more deeply to the handsome American.  But duty calls and the royals must rise above any scandal, no matter what the cost.  Is happiness truly something Louise will never know?

I enjoy historical fiction and each time I pick one up I wonder how I’ve managed not to read more of them.  Given that I read three to four books on an average week one would think there was ample time to feed my reading passion with one.  Somehow other books find their way into my hands.  So picking THE WILD PRINCESS by Mary Hart Perry off my to be read pile was a wonderful treat.  Perry does a wonderful job of weaving fact—events of the Victorian era, with a marvellous fictional romance.  She ably shows not only the public side we know of Queen Victoria, but tells a very human side of each character we meet. There is no gratuitous drama in the story because the author takes the reader into the hearts and minds of the characters so you come away feeling like you have been there with them through their joys and sorrows. 

When Perry delved into Donovan’s backstory I did find myself a tad bored—it went on a little bit too long and I quickly figured out what the secret outcome was.  As I read it that section I found myself hoping that the rest of the book would not contain so more of this sort of history—and was delighted when the author told it and then moved on. 

Once I started reading THE WILD PRINCESS I had a hard time putting it down.  It isn’t necessarily a quick read because of how rich the writing it; but it is a read that you just want to sit back, have a cup of tea and enjoy from beginning to end.  I’ve already picked up the next two books in this series and can’t wait to dig in.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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